What Is a Phase

In any large, complex project, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks and activities that need to be completed. A convenient way to deal with this volume is to divide the project into groups of tasks that make it easier for us to understand and organize them. We will view activities as groups of tasks, and phases as groups of activities. Webster defines phase as a distinguishable part in a course, development, or cycle. SEI defines phase as a period of time. PMI refers tcproject phase as a collection of logically related project activities, usually culminating in the completion of a major deliverable. For the sake of our common vocabulary, our phases are represented in Figure 1-2 and in Figure 1-17.

Figure 1-17. IEEE 1074 Software Product Development Life Cycle Model

Figure 1-17. IEEE 1074 Software Product Development Life Cycle Model

Organizing tasks around a deliverable makes sense, and provides a logical checkpoint before moving into another set of tasks. It's not required, but a nice way to organize a large collection of tasks is around the production steps of deliverables and work products, with tasks grouped into activities, and activities grouped into phases.

So a definition we can use in software project management becomes: A phase is a collection of related activities or tasks that produce a deliverable or work product.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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